Sitting around a fire pit with loved ones on a cold night has become a staple for most people. It enables you to have quality time with the people you love while you enjoy the warmth of the blazing fire. However, before you set your fire pit ablaze, it’s important to remember fire pit safety tips that will help you keep yourself and your loved ones safe from accidental fires.
So, let’s explore some classic fire safety tips that you can follow to have a fun and safe time with loved ones!
10 Helpful Fire Pit Safety Tips
Here are ten handy fire pit safety tips you need to follow to have an enjoyable and safe time by the fire:
Be Mindful of the Wind
Before you get the fire crackling, quickly check the local weather forecast to ensure it’s not a windy day, as the wind can make it doubly hard to start the fire. Moreover, it can cause sparks to blow into the surrounding bushes, grass, and structures, increasing the risk of a fire starting. You must also check the wind direction before starting up the fire so that you can sit on the upwind side of the pit to steer clear of the smoke.
Build the Fire in an Open Space
Always build a fire in an open space instead of starting it the pit under trees or the overhang of a building. Keep the area around the pit clear of flammable materials and yard waste. It’s because wayward sparks can blow outward and ignite leaves, dry wood, debris, and more, around the fire. If you have a portable pit, consider shifting it to a location with a natural windbreak before lighting up the fire.
Maintain Your Distance
It might sound like common sense, but once the night breeze sends chills down your spine, you tend to move closer to the warmth of the fire. While it’s natural to seek that warmth, make sure that you maintain a safe distance between yourself and the fire pit. Otherwise, you will run the risk of your hair, clothes, and other materials catching fire.
Similarly, make sure your chairs, throws, and other things are away from the fire as well. Don’t forget to keep your hair tied and your sleeves rolled up if you’re the one tending a fire or roasting the food on it. If you happen to have a fire screen, use it to protect yourself and your loved ones from the open flame.
Stay Away from Construction Lumber
When fueling the fire in your fire pit, you can use the seasoned hardwood logs and kindling, firewood, and the branches you might have sawed off your trees. You can also use softwoods, such as pine, but they burn less efficiently and give off more smoke and sparks than seasoned hardwood.
With that said, you should never burn construction lumber, such as plywood, pressure-treated posts and boards, MDF, and chemically treated wood pallets. It’s because construction lumber is treated with harmful adhesives, chemical resins, and other substances that will emit toxic fumes when you burn them. You certainly don’t want yourself or your loved ones to inhale the smoke from these woods or eat food prepared on the flames produced by burning them.
Don’t Leave the Fire Unattended
One of the most important fire safety tips is never to leave a fire or an open flame unattended. Even after the fire in the pit seems to have died down and you can only see glowing embers in the pit, don’t leave it alone. If you want to head into the house for a bathroom break or food, make sure you leave someone else to stay by the fire or extinguish it completely before heading inside.
Even though tiny flames might seem harmless, they still carry the risk of starting a fire. So, make sure to pour water over the live embers and turn the burnt logs on all sides to make sure that all sides have stopped working before you call it a night and head inside.
Keep Water & a Shovel at Hand
Another essential aspect of fire pit safety is to keep water and a shovel at hand so that you have something effective to contain the fire if the sparks catch onto something flammable around the pit. If you have followed the tips mentioned above for fire pit safety, you probably will not face such a scenario, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for such emergencies.
However, if a fire does erupt, use the water to kill the flames and then shovel some dirt on the embers and flames to extinguish them. It might also help to invest in a fire blanket that you can use to smother a fire outside the pit. Also, make sure to teach the kids to “stop, drop, and roll” if their clothes catch fire. Following these safety measures will help you feel safer while enjoying the fire.
Respect No-Burn Alerts
When weather conditions and high emissions combine to increase fine particulate pollution significantly, some municipalities issue no-burn alerts to safeguard local air quality. If you don’t comply with the no-burn order, you will not only be putting your own and your community’s health at risk, but you will also have to face violation fines. So, before you start the fire, always check the local news to ensure there is no no-burn policy in effect.
Store Firewood Safely
If you want to keep the fire roaring all night long, you will need plenty of firewood to fuel it. However, make sure that you don’t keep it near the fire to ensure that the sparks don’t ignite the wood. Keep it at a safe distance so that you can control the pace at which you want to burn the fire.
Fire and alcohol can prove to be a deadly combination. You can certainly have a fun time and drink while enjoying the fire, but don’t overindulge as it can result in impaired judgment, reflexes, and coordination, which is dangerous near an open fire. Keep everyone at a safe distance from the fire and drink in moderation.
Don’t Burn Garbage in the Pit
Many areas throughout the US have strict regulations that prohibit garbage burning. So, make sure that you don’t toss in your garbage along with firewood to keep the fire burning. Only burn firewood in the pit to ensure fire safety. If you burn trash, the fumes from the additives and chemicals in it will be harmful to the environment and you.
Use the tips mentioned above to keep yourself and your loved ones safe while you enjoy the crackling fire in your fire pit!